Pre Beta Announcement Analysis (while I attempt to chill off)

Ye (Space) Godz I am in such a mood now… (Can you tell LOL!)

As an exercise I had a closer look at the announcement post, that I share now. Feed back welcomed, might help me decide if I just need more alcohol or if I am finally done with this…
It is written as if I am addressing IDA directly so please excuse some literary weirdness. I am not at my best for several reasons (Apology only not claiming that as an excuse)


We’ve named it the Pre-Beta Galaxy – instead of Alpha 4 – because:

The quality of the game feels much closer to Beta than Alpha (so we’ve been told) but the game isn’t feature complete yet to consider it Beta

Alpha 4’ after ‘Alpha 3’ – starts to get confusing?

So is it Alpha or a Beta? Why did you feel the need to make a hybrid of both? Sorry this makes no sense to me but is not a big deal. I would also ask “Who told you that?” coz an unbiased reading of the forum would not give that impression I would have said.

PLUS we’re inviting everyone else that signed up to play the Beta but hasn’t had their invite yet! Invites (including Steam keys) will be emailed out at the same time the new galaxy is launched.

So how does this affect the promised rewards and stuff promise dot early adopters. Does it activate will we be seeing possible some unique ships and stuff for the faithful few that signed up so very long ago and got many others to do likewise? This feels very “Double or Quits” as if the folks that know something of the game from Alphas or friends etc, don’t get on with this version then who you gonna bring in to test the next bit. Do you really feel the game is in a state as to retain a large chunk of these hopefuls? This could back fire as if thousands join & quit then you will be releasing folks into the infosphere that carry a negative opinion that your later marketing will have to over come. Risky move especially as you are not calling it a Beta.

Why are we launching a new galaxy?

We need new and existing players to help us determine if:

Recent usability improvements have made the game significantly easier to play and understand (for new players in particular)

The early game is more engaging and fun

But have we done enough to be able to call an end to the usability crisis? And do enough players stick around long enough to experience the more rewarding stages of the game? It’s crucial that we find out as soon as possible.

So basically there is not enough of us left to actually test so you are getting fresh meat. Ok I agree with that, without certain oft promised never delivered features I think you are in for a shock when it comes to player retention but we’ll see. I’d like to be totally wrong on this one. I’d love to know why you are burning your Beta sign up card instead of fixing any one of several essential features that much saner heads than mine have all but begged for? That would bring swathes of Alpha players back (or so they have said - and I believe them, you should too!)

Easier to interact with other players

Start closer to other players (minimum distance between players decreased to 14~ LY from 24~ LY in Alpha 3)

Private message the players around you and your neighbours

Right this will change the dynamic of the game radically. I foresee early conflicts as a result which depending on the maturity of the new players and or the cynicism of the older ones still playing, could result in a new player slaughter… but the Alpha’s left reading this are better than that. But that’s IDA being lucky. This should have been announced and discussed earlier I think.

The private message system has as I have observed (see Edit 1 here) a fairly nasty limitation in it that wasn’t there before. Not going to re-say my misgivings if this is fixed…

Greater starting resources

More resources in home systems so you’ll spend less time waiting and more time playing

You’ll start with additional ships in orbit of your home planet

Each home system will have a valuable second planet ideal for colonizing

Ah! very good indeed! This is as it should be I think though I do have a slight logic problem with the idea we get free colony ships before we can learn how to make them ourselves… But that’s a trivial thing. Very pleased to see this implemented in some way. Resources need some more love in general but this is a good step.

Exploration plays a greater role

The new Minor factions hidden across the galaxy make exploration more rewarding (they have unique benefits that are very valuable to a colony)

Wait, what? Where on earth do you get this? The conclusion on the forum about Minor races was that only Evo’s and rarely Giants have any worthwhile utility at all? Please explain all the stuff I’ve read indicated that while they were good for colour Minor Civs had marginal usefulness. How is that “making exploration more rewarding” I just do not understand what you mean here?

Growth limitations have been relaxed

Corruption has no effect on your empire until it reaches 14 planets – in Alpha 3 it started at 5 planets

Control centres support more fleets (the fleet limit without building control centres has been increased to 14 fleets from 12 and level 2 control centres now support 4 fleets each instead of 3)

  • we plan to revisit growth limitations after the launch of this galaxy

Thank the godz of space for this. Long overdue. Just every time you switch this major mechanic about be aware you radically shift the games dynamic. In this iteration we start closer and yet can expand faster. That’s a recipe for war plain and simple. Is a war game the only thing we have now or will Exploration and questing type things eventually come in? I hope so but am content to wait and see.

Start closer to your neighbors, so you can all just murder each other and get it over with.

Should be amusing to the veterans, at least. How far into the tech tree are troop transports?

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Not that far… If you know what to do… Which means honored rival if you or I were feeling particularly bellicose we could wipe the floor with a complete Noobie.

Which is why I woulda thought this change could have done with a pass through Alpha earlier than this baptism of fire

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Two points:

Being closer together at the start was discussed at length close to the end of skirmish and we all pretty well agreed that is a good thing. It’s more distance than skirmish. It was announced to happen back then. So it’s not new nor a surprise to me.

As far as minor civs we didn’t all agree that the other minor civs weren’t useful. Just that the two you mentioned were the best. I liked them all for different reasons.

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Good thing if it was the Alpha crew certainly.

With a surge of Newbies I am less convinced. What am I supposed to do? Be a sugar daddy and let them traipse through my home systems or use my hard earned knowledge off the game to kick them out which WILL set them back and may well discourage them…

Shoulda tested this in a true Alpha not this half Alpha Half (Pre) Beta nonsense! That’s all I am trying to say.

Oh I like the minor Civs but I think they need a balancing pass yet to make them all truly equal (just different) Also pockets of player Civs grant nearly no advantages thats a flaw in my opinion that should have been addressed before such a mass release.

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I haven’t disagreed that this release needs to be A4, but it isn’t since it’s already announced. Most of us (seasoned testers) are tolerant and helpful to the new testers, hopefully with the chat we can communicate with them easier.

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I’m going to venture into the bloody waters that has become the topic know as A4…

First of, I’m one that’s been wanting a reset for a while now. Hopefully A4 will bring about the surge of activity that we saw after A3. If that, coupled with a more user-friendly start means more people stay then I see that as a win. Being closer together, and having higher planet caps means that at least some warfare early on. So, generally speaking, I’m a fan.

Sure, vets are going to have the ability to trample noobs. The same will apply for every release throughout. However, we’re still testing. That means there’s still room to try it out and make adjustments. Maybe they’ll implement some combat scaling that’s been suggested, or new players will be given some sort of protective status for a few days/weeks.

If there’s concern for noobs joining and being around vets, then A3 must have been terrifying. Starting a new game when other players have 20+ dread fleets running around… at least now they’re starting with a similar set of fleets.

My hope is that the vets are so gung-ho to get started in A4 that the center of the galaxy is packed with the most hardcore. More casual players would be further out, so hopefully that means they’re less threatened.

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Based on the fact that tomorrow (launch date) there will not be minimal alliance features ready yet, I don’t think you’ll see the surge you’re hoping for until they are ready. But I’m sure you will see it when they are. I do agree with most of the rest of what you’ve said. I’m happy about the reduced distance between players, will allow things to be more competitive or provide the ability to make even more friends, who the neighbor is will determine that.

Mood I am seeing is the vets are pretty apathetic or just interested n a minimal involvement. You saw Cheatle Puma & nizarious3901 all basically say their alliances were not going to go in formally but leave it to individual members to try or not as they will?

And yes, in ANY game the vets could always roflstomp new players, not quite the point I was trying to make. In a more developed game such unfortunate Newbies at least have the option of finding out who the bully boys are through reputation and leader-boards or maybe find out who is there enemy alliances and get under there protection etc etc. No such standard refugee tactics available here right now.

But the die is cast. I wish good luck and happy trails to the new folks whom I devoutly hope we see in large numbers tomorrow afternoon.

Basically correct, our folks can play early if they wish to, but have been instructed that if they do they will be expected to reset once the basic alliance features are ready. I know the prospect of a reset will result most of us waiting I’m sure.

We’ll know more tomorrow when we get the Dev Diary (or status on what they’re working on whatever they end up calling it) that’s been promised.

I so hope that sends the very strong message to the powers that be that there long term players consider them very off course right now.

Ah forget it I’m a tired old fart and need some sleep. Tomorrow fellows!

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We never go in on day one anyways lol, but how long we wait to join will be based on the information we receive from the devs tomorrow.

The one thing to remember here is this is still Alpha, and a small dev team. Slow plod is the name of the game.

I agree with the idea that a reset should have waited at least until Friend/Foe code was in. However, looking at the forum it was pretty clear that things had stagnated. My guess is the devs were hoping to be further along in their process before they needed to start CPR.

I’m taking A4 (or B0, or PB1, or whatever we’re calling this) as a short term kick to keep energy going. I fully expect another reset when actual alliance features roll out.

I do understand and anticipate the minimal alliance features needed will be available fairly soon, I honestly don’t think they’ll be that difficult to implement.

I actually disagree that we’ll need a reset in order to implement alliance features, they should be able to add them in this galaxy once they have the basics in place. The basics we need just to make it playable in a “team” environment, should be building blocks for the longer term coalition/alliance/treaty design.

For now all we need to identify is a “friend”, by default everyone else is a “foe”. Later the “friend” can be added to whatever structure they develop for the coalition and the coalition added to whatever structure they develop for an alliance. Also for players that might be given a treaty (a person who is friendly but not in your coalition), will become just another further classification for that “friend” and will be included in whatever structure is developed for players holding a “treaty”.

I don’t see PB1 as being short term at all. Once we have the basics for alliance features, there is still balancing that needs to be completed and tested, the full alliance features need to finish being designed, implemented and tested and several improvements to automation, etc that is needed to be completed and tested. Once those are completed, I’m hopeful we’ll be ready for the “final” reset and ready for full on Beta.

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Speaking from the currently newbie position, I would not be opposed to getting stomped on, as long as I can restart somewhere else in the galaxy. Vets cannot destroy learning.
: eyes @Zathabar :

There’s been a lot of talk about what resetting would look like after being stomped.

Long ago there was the concept of a seed ship - ship that contained the bare minimum to start a new colony. My thought was such a ship should be indestructible, so it’s never truly game over. Additionally, you’d retain all your researched tech.

I believe the devs canned the seed ship idea, but toyed around with being able to keep some, or all of your research.

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I don’t believe the seed ship concept was scrapped, just not completed yet. But yes basically it’s purpose is to retain your research (possibly not 100% of it don’t recall) and the ability to start elsewhere.

Currently reset causes you to start from zero.

Nor actually do we want to.

The way it got out here chap with previous game intakes staring well, and then half their numbers vanished in a week, Half the remaining in another two so that by the end of a month after release we were back to the 300 spartans that have doggedly kept going plus 1d10 new battle hardened New guys…

I am hoping that does not happen today with all my heart. Any belly acheing or gloom you see from em or another “Vet” is because we have misgivings that the game isn’t ready for such a mass release without key (in our opinion) features

No, no. I mean REAL learning. About the game mechanics, pacing, development procedures, etc. Even if I start from “zero,” I retain all of that knowledge.

I was only eyeing you, @Zathabar because you are next to me and could probably destroy me now. :laughing:

You’ll need to elaborate on that further, not sure how you’d tell the “game” this information. Obviously your hands on experience in game will stay with you, that’s not a game mechanic. I’d suggest a new topic to discuss it and how it will function if you feel it should be an “in game mechanic”.

There will be “achievements” on the player profile at some point, it’s been discussed and will be a feature once implemented if this is what you’re referring to. I’ll let you research that one, as it’s not that important to me.